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Ukraine Says Three Soldiers Killed In East

Ukraine's military said on December 18 that three of its soldiers were killed amid multiple cease-fire violations by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in the last 24 hours.

According to the Defense Ministry's statement, the separatists violated the cease-fire 14 times using mortars and heavy artillery.

Separatists claimed on December 18 that Ukraine's armed forces violated the cease-fire 17 times using assault rifles, grenade launchers, mortars, and artillery.

Fighting between Kyiv's forces and the Russia-backed separatists who hold parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.

Several cease-fire deals announced as part of the Minsk accords -- September 2014 and February 2015 pacts aimed to resolve the conflict -- have failed to hold.

The latest cease-fire was agreed on August 22 in a phone call between the leaders of Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine.

With reporting by Interfax
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